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   » » Wiki: Goldsmith
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A goldsmith is a who specializes in working with and other . Historically, goldsmiths also have made , platters, , decorative and serviceable utensils, or items, and rarely using , but the rising prices of precious metals have curtailed the making of such items to a large degree.

Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal through filing, , , , casting, and metal. The trade has very often included -making skills, as well as the very similar skills of the . Traditionally, these skills had been passed along through , however, more recently jewellery arts schools specializing solely in teaching goldsmithing and a multitude of skills falling under the jewellery arts umbrella are available. Many universities and junior colleges also offer goldsmithing, silversmithing, and metal arts fabrication as a part of their fine arts curriculum.

At least in Europe, goldsmiths increasingly performed many of the functions now regarded as part of , especially providing custody of valuable items and currency exchange, though they were usually restrained from lending at interest, which was regarded as .


Gold
Compared to other metals, gold is , , rare, and it is the only solid metallic with a . It may easily be melted, fused, and cast without the problems of oxides and gas that are problematic with other metals such as , for example. It is fairly easy to "pressure weld", wherein similarly to clay two small pieces may be pounded together to make one larger piece. Gold is classified as a —because it does not react with most elements. It usually is found in its form, lasting indefinitely without oxidization and tarnishing.


History
Gold has been worked by humans in all where the metal is available, either indigenously or imported, and the history of these activities is extensive. Superbly made objects from the ancient cultures of , , , , , Mesoamerica, and South America grace museums and collections throughout the world. Some pieces date back thousands of years and were made using many techniques that still are used by modern goldsmiths. Techniques developed by some of those goldsmiths achieved a skill level that was lost and remained beyond the skills of those who followed, even to modern times.American Chemical Society, Ancient technology for metal coatings 2,000 years ago can't be matched even today, ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, July 24, 2013, Researchers attempting to uncover the chemical techniques used by ancient artisans have remarked that their findings confirm that "the high level of competence reached by the artists and craftsmen of these ancient periods who produced objects of an artistic quality that could not be bettered in ancient times and has not yet been reached in modern ones."Gabriel Maria Ingo, Giuseppe Guida, Emma Angelini, Gabriella Di Carlo, Alessio Mezzi, Giuseppina Padeletti, Ancient Mercury-Based Plating Methods: Combined Use of Surface Analytical Techniques for the Study of Manufacturing Process and Degradation Phenomena, Accounts of Chemical Research, 2013; 130705111206005 DOI: 10.1021/ar300232e

In Europe goldsmiths were organized into and usually were one of the most important and wealthiest of the guilds in a city. The guild kept records of members and the marks they used on their products. These records, when they survive, are very useful to historians. Goldsmiths often acted as , since they dealt in gold and had sufficient security for the safe storage of valuable items. In the , goldsmithing normally included silversmithing as well, but the brass workers and workers in other normally were members of a separate guild, since the trades were not allowed to overlap. Many also were goldsmiths.

The caste is one of the oldest communities in goldsmithing in India, whose superb gold artworks were displayed at The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. In India, 'Vishwakarma' are the goldsmith caste.

The technique of developed among goldsmiths in Germany around 1430, who had long used the technique on their metal pieces. The notable of the fifteenth century were either goldsmiths, such as Master E. S., or the sons of goldsmiths, such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer.


Contemporary goldsmithing
A goldsmith might have a wide array of skills and knowledge at their disposal. , being the most metal of all, offers unique opportunities for the worker. In today's world a wide variety of other metals, especially alloys, also may be used frequently. 24 karat is pure gold and historically, was known as .
(2008). 9781443782012, Lightning Source Incorporated. .

Because it is so soft, however, 24 karat gold is rarely used. It usually is to make it stronger and to create different colors; goldsmiths may have some skill in that process. The gold may be cast into some item then, usually with the lost wax casting process, or it may be used to fabricate the work directly in metal.

In the latter case, the goldsmith will use a variety of tools and machinery, including the , the , and perhaps, and other forming tools to make the metal into shapes needed to build the intended piece. Then parts are fabricated through a wide variety of processes and assembled by . It is a testament to the history and evolution of the trade that those skills have reached an extremely high level of attainment and skill over time. A fine goldsmith can and will work to a tolerance approaching that of precision machinery, but largely using only his eyes and hand tools. Quite often the goldsmith's job involves the making of mountings for , in which case they often are referred to as jewelers.

'Jeweller', however, is a term mostly reserved for a person who deals in jewellery (buys and sells) and not to be confused with a goldsmith, silversmith, gemologist, diamond cutter, and diamond setters. A 'jobbing jeweller' is the term for a jeweller who undertakes a small basic amount of jewellery repair and alteration.


Notable historical goldsmiths


Contemporary goldsmiths of note
  • Lois Etherington Betteridge
  • Andrea Cagnetti - Akelo
  • William Claude Harper
  • Mary Lee Hu
  • John Paul Miller (1918-2013)
  • Gary Lee Noffke


See also
  • Society of North American Goldsmiths
  • Old master print, , and - goldsmith's techniques or related trades in the Middle Ages
  • Persian-Sassanide art patterns
  • Jewelers' Row
  • Silver (household)
  • Sunar


External links
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